Five Cool Tools for PMO

Every so often there’s a time when I think, that’s a really useful cool tool. Then I talk to some of the people at PMO Flashmob – or online in social media groups and they also recommend their stuff too. So I thought, let’s share them on here – and hopefully you’ll add something that you use in the comments section below.

Here’s my recent finds:

Dropbox PaperDropbox Paper

Thanks to Donnie M for this one – we’ve been working on a collaboration and needed to write a document together. He suggested Dropbox Paper – and it really is cool.

So you’re working on a document together – it’s web-based and you can do all the usual word processing stuff – adding links, formatting, just plain good old typing. So far so good.

The cool stuff happens when you can see each other writing at the same time – or just watching what the other person is putting on there.

It just works – there’s no chance of overwriting each others stuff and it’s just easy to get going and use it. Plus you can export whenever you’re ready.

Why I think it’s a good tool for PMO? It’s definitely something your project teams can use if you don’t already have any kind of collaboration software in place – in fact the whole team can use it at once.

DoodleDoodle

Thanks to Eileen for this one. Doodle takes that really annoying job of trying to get people together for a meeting just that little bit easier. I wish I had this years ago when I was a Project Administrator trying to organise project meetings for over 20 people!

Basically it’s an “easy scheduling” tool. You know roughly what dates and times you have available for a meeting. In Doodle you can add all those various dates and times – you can add the location and a little bit about the meeting if you like too.

When you’re done it generates a URL – like this one.

You send the URL to everyone who you need to be at the meeting and they essentially add in their name and choose which date and time works best for them.

Easy scheduling!

Post-It Notes+

What a fantastic idea and something available in your smart phone. Thanks to @zakiyya_c she’s based in South Africa and last week on #pmchat she shared a presentation with me called “PMO Hacks in the Digital Era”* sounds alright doesn’t it?

So basically you’re at a meeting, there’s loads of post-it notes going on the wall. You’re going take pictures of them aren’t you? Well make sure you use this app because it is fantastic. It basically allows you to manipulate those post-it notes post capture! Then you can add stuff to them and then share it – it’s easy to add them into a Powerpoint file to share with the attendees.

Surely this has got to be one of the things the PMO has been waiting for??

Post-It

PushBulletPushBullet

Another one from @zakiyya_c (I do love Twitter and #pmchat when you get great stuff like this from people’s own toolboxes!) and already PushBullet is saving me acres of time and less frustration. PushBullet enables you to connect up all your devices – desktop, iPads, smartphones – and essentially share stuff between them. This is the bane of my life (ok well modern life!).

I can be sat working on something on the iPad and I take a photo of something with the phone – I want to use the photo I’ve taken with the phone and put it into the notes I’m making on the iPad. With PushBullet I can now get that photo onto the iPad with a push of a button (don’t ask me why I don’t take a picture with the iPad – it looks ridiculous when people hold up iPads to take photos!)

I’ve not finished exploring PushBullet but you can easily see why this is a time saver for the modern worker.

PushBullet

 

NotabilityNotability

I often get asked about a good note taking app for the iPad. After faffing about with loads of different types over the years I think I’ve found the one! I’m using it with an Apple pencil which really does work and I couldn’t do without it now. With Notability, any notes I’m making are automatically packed up to Dropbox in PDF format so I’m able to share those notes with anyone immediately.

What I like about it is the simplicity of writing, the ability to add in images, link to a website and then bring in the front page of that website, and of course easily back up and store notes. Oh and I love the fact you can import anything – a PDF for example of a whitepaper and make notes on that too.

Here’s a couple of examples:

Example from a training course, notes from the handbook and a webpage that was mentioned

 

Notes from a PMO lecture – the slides were available beforehand so adding notes as we went along

 

MS Excel

OK, OK, nothing special here – but it still is THE tool of choice for the PMO. At the last PMO Flashmob we were talking about tools for the PMO and Lorna (thank you!!) mentioned that she just “chandoos it” with anything Excel related.

So basically it’s about getting more out of MS Excel and this is one of the website recommendations for learning about how to do that.

So head over there and have a look, you’ll be on your way to being “awesome” with Excel in no time

>> Chandoo.org

Chandoo

 

 

So here’s the latest things I’ve come across and have been using. Got any to share with us? What do you use when working in the PMO? Any PMO hacks to share?

Leave a comment below – let’s get sharing.

 

* Want to have a look at the PMO Hacks in the Digital Era presentation? Download it here

About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay is the founder of PMO Flashmob. She's also the creator of London's first dedicated PMO Conference; Director of Arras People and PMO enthusiast

One comment

  1. #1 Slack is the number 1 tool for me. Helps build a community where people are distributed and may not even have met. My team is split between 3 US offices, 3 UK offices and Amsterdam for good measure. Slack gives us a chance to keep in touch as a group.

    #2 Confluence is where we share exemplars and reference material.

    #3 Also a nod for Trello. We’re using that to track OKRs.

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